Titans get late pick to beat Commanders, win 3rd in a row

Oct 9, 2022, 1:20 AM | Updated: 2:59 pm
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kyle Philips (18) defensive tackle Sam Okuayinonu (59) and tight end...

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kyle Philips (18) defensive tackle Sam Okuayinonu (59) and tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo (85) celebrate with fans after an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Landover, Md. Tennessee won 21-17. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

              Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kyle Philips (18) defensive tackle Sam Okuayinonu (59) and tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo (85) celebrate with fans after an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Landover, Md. Tennessee won 21-17. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
            
              Tennessee Titans linebacker David Long Jr., left, speaks with Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz after an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Landover, Md. Long intercepted a pass attempt by Wentz at the 1-yard line in the final moments of the game, and Tennessee won 21-17. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
            
              Tennessee Titans linebacker David Long Jr. reacts after an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Landover, Md. Tennessee won 21-17. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
            
              CORRECTS STATE TO MD NOT VA Washington Commanders defensive end Montez Sweat (90) celebrates his sack on Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022 in Landover, Md. (Shaban Athuman/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
            
              CORRECTS STATE TO MD NOT VA Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz (11) takes the field before an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022 in Landover, Md. (Shaban Athuman/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
            
              CORRECTS STATE TO MD NOT VA Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) carries the ball as Washington Commanders cornerback Kendall Fuller (29) tries to bring him down during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022 in Landover, Md. (Shaban Athuman/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
            
              Washington Commanders running back Brian Robinson Jr., right, rushes the ball in the first half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Jess Rapfogel)
            
              Washington Commanders defensive end Montez Sweat (90) celebrates his sack on Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022 in Landover, Va. (Shaban Athuman/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
            
              Washington Commanders defensive end James Smith-Williams sacks Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
            
              Washington Commanders defensive end James Smith-Williams, bottom right, celebrates with teammate Montez Sweat after sacking Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
            
              Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Sam Okuayinonu (59) sacks Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
            
              Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz throws to a receiver in the second half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
            
              Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz (11) takes the field before an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022 in Landover, Va. (Shaban Athuman/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
            
              Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Sam Okuayinonu (59) reacts after sacking Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
            
              Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, center, hands the ball off to running back Derrick Henry in the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Jess Rapfogel)
            
              Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, left, hands the ball off to running back Derrick Henry in the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
            
              Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) carries the ball as Washington Commanders cornerback Kendall Fuller (29) tries to bring him down during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022 in Landover, Va. (Shaban Athuman/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
            
              Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, right, rushes past Washington Commanders defenders in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Jess Rapfogel)
            
              Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, top left, dives into the end zone for a touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
            
              Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) rushes the ball past Washington Commanders defenders in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — A teammate yelled at David Long Jr. from a corner of the locker room, “Keep that game ball!”

He wasn’t letting it out of his grasp.

Long intercepted Carson Wentz at the 1-yard line with 6 seconds left to preserve Tennessee’s third win in a row, 21-17 over the Washington Commanders on Sunday. Derrick Henry again got his team rolling, and Long’s play concluded a goal-line stand that vaulted the Titans (3-2) into first place in the AFC South.

“We never panic,” Long said of a defense that has made two game-saving plays in the past three weeks. “This is what we do it for. This is what you dream of. Don’t panic. Somebody made a play, and we walk off the field. It just ended up being me.”

The interception, Wentz’s sixth of the season, sealed a fourth consecutive loss for the Commanders (1-4) and overshadowed his two touchdown passes to Dyami Brown.

“Guy made a heck of a play,” said Wentz, who was 25 of 38 for 359 yards, including 76 on the final drive. “I just tried to squeeze it in there to J.D. (McKissic). Heck of a play. That was an emotional roller coaster. I thought we had six points when it left my hand and then the result. That was unfortunate.”

Well before Long was the hero, Henry racked up 102 yards on 28 carries and had two catches for 30 yards, one of them a screen pass that set up Dontrell Hilliard’s 13-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. He surpassed 100 yards on the ground for the second consecutive game, and the Titans improved to 24-3 when Henry reaches that mark.

“I’m going to be me each and every Sunday,” Henry said.

When Henry got into the end zone in the third quarter, it was Tennessee’s first second-half touchdown since the season opener. It also tied him with Earl Campbell for second on the franchise TDs list with 73, one back of Eddie George.

Leaning on Henry allowed the Titans to compensate for Ryan Tannehill getting sacked five times. It helps that they’re a league-best 10 of 11 in the red zone.

“These games are going to be tight,” said Tannehill, who was 15 of 25 for 181 yards and the TD pass to Hilliard. “There’s a lot of belief when we get down there we’re going to score.”

The Commanders were 1 of 11 on third down, including the interception, and are now last in the NFC East.

“We have dug a hole but at the same time there’s a lot of games left, a lot of football,” Wentz said. “The NFL is crazy. We try not to look at what happened the last couple games and what’s ahead. We just got to go 1-0 each week. We’ve dug ourselves a hole. We did it to ourselves.”

BIG PLAYS

Wentz made arguably his best pass of the season to connect with Brown for a 75-yard score. It’s the longest first career TD reception for a Washington player since running back Matt Jones in 2015.

Tannehill found Nick Westbrook-Ikhine on a 61-yard completion that was the Titans’ longest offensive play of the season.

“I knew it was 1-on-1, so it basically was just a trust throw, giving my guy a chance to go up and make a play on the football,” Tannehill said.

ROBINSON DEBUTS

Commanders rookie running back Brian Robinson Jr. made his NFL debut six weeks to the day he was shot twice in the right leg in an attempted robbery in Washington. Robinson got a rousing ovation when he was the last player to be introduced and finished with 22 yards on nine carries as the team’s leading rusher.

“I really can’t explain the feeling of getting back out on the field,” Robinson said. “Today everything finally came to the light, and I’m just so blessed to be back out there.”

Robinson returned to practice Wednesday after spending the first four games of the season on the non-football injury list. The team activated the third-round pick out of Alabama on Saturday.

INJURIES

Titans: DE Denico Autry missed some time in the third quarter with a back injury. He returned at the start of the fourth. … Three starters were inactive: LB Zach Cunningham (elbow), S Amani Hooker (concussion) and LG Nate Davis (knee/foot).

Commanders: RB Jonathan Williams was ruled out with a knee injury at the start of the fourth quarter. … RT Sam Cosmi did not play after undergoing hand surgery earlier in the week.

UP NEXT

Titans: Have a bye week before hosting the AFC South rival Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 23.

Commanders: Visit the Chicago Bears on Thursday night.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski, left, and quarterback Tom Brady celebrate aft...
Associated Press

Analysis: Tom Brady’s legacy goes beyond Super Bowl rings

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tom Brady had nothing left to prove. Already considered the GOAT — greatest of all time — Brady finally walked away from the NFL on Wednesday following the most difficult, emotionally draining season in his life. “I’m retiring. For good,” Brady said in a short video he posted on social media. […]
2 days ago
This image provided by the Broward Sheriff’s Office shows New Jersey Devils associate coach and f...
Associated Press

Devils associate coach Andrew Brunette charged with DUI

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (AP) — New Jersey Devils associate coach and former Florida Panthers head coach Andrew Brunette was arrested Wednesday in South Florida and charged with driving under the influence. Brunette was pulled over in the Deerfield Beach area, north of Fort Lauderdale, according to Broward County jail records. He was also charged with […]
2 days ago
FILE - Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) smiles during warmups before an NFL football...
Associated Press

Reaction to Tom Brady announcing his retirement for 2nd time

Reaction from social media and elsewhere poured in after Tom Brady announced his retirement on Wednesday for the second time. Brady won seven Super Bowls and set numerous passing records in an unprecedented 23-year NFL career. He made his announcement in a short social media post. The 45-year-old Brady goes out after leading the Tampa […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

2nd ex-NC State athlete sues school in sexual abuse case

A second former North Carolina State athlete sued the school Wednesday alleging he was sexually abused by the Wolfpack’s former director of sports medicine under the guise of treatment. The lawsuit filed in federal court accuses Robert Murphy Jr. of improperly touching the athlete’s genitals and elsewhere between two separate occasions in 2016. The plaintiff’s […]
2 days ago
Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Joshua Williams (23) intercepts the ball against the Cincinnati Benga...
Associated Press

Unheralded group of Chiefs get redemption in Super Bowl hunt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs have some of the biggest names in the NFL, from Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce to Chris Jones and JuJu Smith-Schuster, yet they’re playing in their third Super Bowl in four years largely because they refused to give up on players only their most-passionate fans know […]
2 days ago
FILE - This is a 2022 photo of Josh Sills of the Philadelphia Eagles NFL football team. Josh Sills,...
Associated Press

Eagles reserve lineman accused of rape ahead of Super Bowl

CAMBRIDGE, Ohio (AP) — Josh Sills, a reserve offensive lineman for the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles, has been indicted on rape and kidnapping charges that stem from an incident in Ohio just over three years ago, authorities said Wednesday. Sills, an undrafted free agent who appeared in just one game this season, was placed on […]
2 days ago
Titans get late pick to beat Commanders, win 3rd in a row